195 Sexual and Vegetative Performance of Native and Cultivated Day-neutral Strawberries under Moderate and High Temperatures

in HortScience
Authors: S. Serce1 and J.F. Hancock
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  • 1 Michigan State University, Horticulture Department, East Lansing, MI 48824

A common complaint with day-neutral strawberries is that they perform poorly in mid-summer heat. Since most modern day-neutral cultivars are derived from the same Fragaria virginiana ssp. glauca clone from Utah, we felt it prudent to search for alternate sources of day-neutrality that were more heat-tolerant. We compared the sexual and vegetative performance of nine F. virginiana clones from a wide range of environments including the Utah site, and four F. × ananassa day-neutral types (`Aromas', `Fort Laramie', `Ogallala', and `Tribute') under constant temperatures of 18, 22, 26, and 30 °C and 12-h days. `Aromas' and `Tribute' carry the Utah source of day-neutrality, while `Fort Laramie' and `Ogallala' are old cultivars that have a different, complex background. After a 4-week period of acclimation, we counted the number of crowns, inflorescences, flowers, stolons, and daughter plants that emerged over a 10-week period, and measured the dry weights of component parts. ANOVA tables revealed that temperature regime (T), genotypes (G), and T*G were significant for flower number (FLN) and total dry matter accumulation, while species and T*G were significant for daughter plant number (DPN). Mean FLNs across the four temperatures were 6.8, 3.7, 3.3, and 1.2, while mean DPNs were 0.7, 0.9, 0.7, and 1.8. F. virginiana clones averaged 3.8 FLNs and 1.8 DPNs, while the F. × ananassa clones averaged 4.1 FLNs and 0.2 DPNs. There was generally more variability among the F. virginiana clones than the F. × ananassa clones, but the F. × ananassa cultivars, `Fort Laramie' and `Ogallala', performed best at 30 °C. The Wasatch clone did not flower in any treatment, suggesting it is not day-neutral.

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